Shane Warne says Aussies in 'confusion' ahead of Ashes series

Warne believes it's the tourists who no longer hold any fears about an unsettled Australian cricket team.

Published: 18th November 2017 09:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th November 2017 11:22 AM   |  A+A-

Former Australian spinner Shane Warne (File|PTI)


SYDNEY: Spin legend Shane Warne says Australia are in a state of "confusion" heading into the Ashes series, with England primed for a first Gabba Test boilover.

Even amid the massive distraction of the Ben Stokes assault saga, Warne believes it's the tourists who no longer hold any fears about an unsettled Australian cricket team.

The Australian leg-spin great says Australia are in a shambles with wicketkeeper Tim Paine's surprise selection pointing to a lack of direction from selectors.

Paine, chosen for his first Test in seven years, and 34- year-old Shaun Marsh recalled to the Test side for the eighth time, were the controversial selections announced on Friday for next week's first Test in Brisbane.

Pundits say Australia's Gabba fortress, where the home side is unbeaten in almost 30 years, is now under threat from an England squad missing their best player all-rounder Stokes, back at home and under investigation over a nightclub brawl.

"At the moment, where the biggest shift has come over the last few years is they don't fear Australia anymore," Warne told reporters on Friday.

"England no longer fear Australia and haven't for a long time and hence that's why they can beat Australia.

"England, I think at the moment, are just going along nicely. They're just doing their business.

"Australia look confused. They're picking wicketkeepers that aren't even keeping for their state.

"To me, I think England are in a better situation going into that first Test match than what Australia are." Television commentating veteran Bill Lawry agreed with Warne that Australia is missing a Mitchell Johnston-styled intimidator, despite Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins capable of bowling fast.

"I think the big key to this Ashes series is Mitchell Johnson and he's not playing," Lawry said.

"If I was an opening batsman I wouldn't be losing too much sleep facing the Australian pace attack as far as pace is concerned.

"They're all good bowlers but they're not going to frighten you." Former Test captain Michael Clarke said the Australian team was unsure about their playing style heading into the five-Test series.

Warne is predicting the Ashes series to be the hardest- fought and most dramatic since the iconic 2005 campaign, which England famously won in a fifth-Test decider.

The leg-spinning great says both sides are weak because they rely too much on two players -- Australia on David Warner and Steve Smith and England on Alastair Cook and Joe Root.

"It will get down to how those guys bat," said Warne.

Stay up to date on all the latest Cricket news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp